6/6/1917 The revolutionary sailors of Kronstadt compromise

Outside Petrograd the Kronstadt naval base has repudiated the authority of Russia’s Provisional Government. The revolutionary sailors here see the government as a reactionary body attempting to hold back the Revolution.

The Kronstadt revolt puts Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, in an awkward position. Many of the Kronstadt sailors are supporters of the Bolsheviks. Lenin is also dismissive of the Provisional Government, but he feels that the time is not yet ripe for a move against it, fearing that a premature attempt at its overthrow would allow it to entrench the government in power.

Today Tsereteli, the Menshevik who has a foot in both the Provisional Government and the executive of the Petrograd Soviet, manages to agree a compromise with the Kronstadt sailors. They will end their formal repudiation of the Provisional Government. However, they will continue to elect their own commissar. The officers imprisoned at the start of the revolution remain in the custody of the sailors, despite the continuing efforts of Kerensky to secure their release. In practice Kronstadt remains outside the authority of the government.

image source:

Kronstadt sailors later in 1917 (Libcom.org: Kronstadt 1917-21: The fate of a soviet democracy)

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